The World of Corasur
Hello and welcome! I've started to work on an original high fantasy setting, which may eventually become the setting of a role-playing game. At the moment, nothing is very well developed, and many things are in need of names.
This page is no longer in active development, because this project is being
transferred to a wiki. I believe that that will allow me to write a much
more coherent product than this flat page allows.
View it here.
Table of Contents
- Creation Myth
- The Twelve Aspects
- The Priesthood
- Other Major Religions
- Political Structures
- Sentient Races
- Regions and Points of Interest
- Calendar and Cosmology
- Brief History of Corasur
- Unincorporated Notes
- Appendix A - Mechanics of Magic
- Appendix B - Standard Settings
- Appendix C - Glossary
(Further Information: Appendix C - Glossary)
This section was larger, but I cut it down and moved most of it to an
appendix. This section now covers what is necessary to understand
this document to a degree I would consider acceptable.
Firstly: There are two major languages in the Empire, the Old Tongue and the Common Tongue. The Old Tongue is the original native language of the original Union of Five, later known simply as the States after the Third Crusade. Now, the Old Tongue is spoken mostly by Priests, and the Common Tongue is a creole formed by the assimilation of at least a dozen other languages, though the Old Tongue is the largest influence.
Both tongues have a system of natural gender with three genders: Divine, Animate, and Inanimate. The pronouns in use for each gender have remained the same in the Common Tongue, but they are not translated in this document because they lack good English equivalents. They are: "Ail", meaning "divine", "sur", meaning "life", (In Corasur, fire is considered to be alive, and is referred to with sur.) and "fol", meaning "thing". Unlike the other two, fol is not commonly seen in words, but its use is mostly confined to that pronoun. Rather than having entirely separate pronouns to refer to groups, you instead add an A to the end of the pronoun, and for mixed groups, you "round up". To form the reflexive, you suffix the pronoun with "ja". For posessives, you use the construct "ko <pronoun>".
To recap, "Sur lent me ko sur horse.", (<Person> lent me <person>'s horse.) "Ailistiff constructed the World Seed Ailja.", (Ailistiff constructed the World Seed itself. (Note that Ail is not like it at all, but it's even less like he or she. I could use they in a singular sense, but that would just muck it up because Ail is syntactically singular and the plural form is Aila.)) "Pick fola up." (Pick those things up.) "Sura invited me to ko sura feast." (They invited me to their feast.).
This is somewhat oversimplified and further information can be found in Appendix C.
For convenience, the Common Tongue is always translated to English, while the Old Tongue is preserved because uneducated people in Corasur likely can't understand it that much better than you do.
Corasur means "Land of Life", and so the title of this page is redundant in a similar way to "Mount Fujiyama" or "naan bread". However, I'm going to leave it and consider this note to be enough. Another nitpick: Corasur is not a planet, but a flat plane, and you do not live "on" Corasur, you live in it.
Inspiration for this language comes mostly from whatever I decide sounds good, but some roots are from Greek or latin.Top
Before time itself, there was only an infinite, formless, static Expanse. In this expanse, a spirit arose, an infinite and eternal consciousness, named Ailistiff. Ailistiff has few traits we mere mortals can comprehend, but among them is the capacity for boredom. The Expanse is nothing, and no thought can stem from it.
Ailistiff determined that Form was needed to stimulate thought, and created perfection. Ail created from the formless nothing the World Seed, a diamond that contained within it the form of an entire world. For uncounted aeons, the great emerald forest Nacis crystallized around it, the pinnacle of geometric order and beauty. Yet, Nacis was as static as the Expanse itself, and Ailistiff grew bored of it as well.
Ailistiff sealed the borders of Nacis from the static Expanse, and created twelve Aspects (Described in the following section), to expand the world in a way that could not be predicted. Only this could entertain Ailistiff for an eternity.Top
Gold, the Counter of the Days,
Rachronar, the Gold Aspect, has three forms, and Ail is all at once. Ail is the sand that was once a mountain, the raging river that yet flows, and the seed that shall be a mighty tree.
Iron, the Worldforge,
Ralistar is the Iron Aspect. Ail breathes in the formless nothing and exhales reality. Ail is a great iron statue, reminiscent of a European-style wyrm, whose mouth is a fount of lava.
Silver, the Weight of the World,
Rasalar, the Silver Aspect, has no form, and yet is every form. ko Ail manifestation is the weight of every real object, which separates the concrete from the abstract. To be "real" is to be infused with the essence of the Silver Aspect.
Glass, the Governor,
Rakoritar, the Glass Aspect, has 6 legs and 4 wings, and ko Ail body is made of articulated segments filled with constantly ticking clockwork covered by plates, all made from perfectly clear crystal. No hand winds the Governor's delicate springs, yet they run eternally.
Grey, the Land,
Rajafar, the Grey Aspect, is a great stone serpent, who lies facing Nacis with ko Ail body coiled about Ail, ko Ail back forming the mountains and stone base of the entire world.
Blue, the Wind and the Sea,
Rasutar, the Blue Aspect, is another serpent, entirely formed of translucent blue and green flesh. Ail swims through the ocean, the rivers, and the sky, and drives the currents.
Red, the Fire of Life,
Rakofar, the Red Aspect, is a phoenix. Unlike every other aspect, Rakofar is considered "living" rather than "divine", and the pronoun "sur" is used to refer to sur. Ko sur "death" represents the hibernation practised by most Corasuran life.
Black, the Usherer to the Beyond,
Ranatar, the Black Aspect, is always just beyond the edge of the world. Ail is past the horizon, between the stars, and just another day away. The world of the living lies ever in ko Ail shadow. The Black Aspect does not lie in this world, but beyond it, and none who join ko Ail company may ever return.
Purple, the Empowered Cripple,
Ralatar, the Purple Aspect, is crippled, deaf, and blind, but overcomes adversity and is no less than any other aspect. Ko Ail blessings heal the sick and give magical power to those who cannot solve their problems on their own.
Green, the Change of Ways,
To describe Ravolitar, the Green Aspect, is to deny ko Ail nature. It may be that the Green Aspect is the most important to Ailistiff, because without it, the world could only progress, not change, and dynamic change is the reason Ailistiff expanded the world beyond the borders of Nacis in the first place.
White, the Speaker to the World,
Rafitar, the White Aspect, takes no form except ko Ail name itself. Ail speaks without a voice and sees without eyes. The White Aspect stewards knowledge, and fosters curiosity.
Lastly, Spirit, the Maker's Shadow.
Ra'ailar, the Spirit Aspect, or the Maker's Shadow, is the extension of the Formless Maker's will into reality, and serves as the bridge between this world and the infinity of the Expanse. Ail cannot contain the infinity that is the Formless Maker, and therefore maintains a separate personality, one that will fit into this world. The Maker's Shadow is not natural in this world, and therefore Ail does not have a static form, but rather adapts to the world about it.
The Sacred Priesthood of the Formless Maker is the official religion of the Empire, and also the official ruling body. They claim to have existed and operated continuously for as long as the world itself has. They mandate worship of and faith in the Formless Maker foremost, and believe that the Aspects be worshipped secondarily. Because Ailistiff does not intervene in the affairs of the world, there is no way to verify the claim that they have stayed true to their master, but they have so far not overtly abused their power. For the same reason, the Priests do not have any ability to use magic, for they have not gained the blessings of the Aspects.
The Aspect-Cults: For the most part, each aspect is aware of the actions of humanity (and other races) and may choose to grant a blessing on those that are deemed worthy. When an aspect does, (or to gain ones attention,) cults spring up to worship and thank that aspect. The Priesthood officially holds the cultists in low regard, because they do not worship Ailistiff first, but they are close enough (and necessary to the Empire) that the Priesthood never takes action against them. There is a list of the cults and the blessings below. (--Revise--)
The Cult of Gold: Seers are granted the ability to see what is not before them.
The Cult of Iron: Primarily composed of crafters and artisans, the blessings of the Worldforge are practical and profitable above all else.
The Cult of Silver: Composed mostly of soldiers, who find the blessings of Rasalar to be very useful in battle. The Silver Aspect grants fortitude and solidity, the power of will over the world.
The Cult of Glass: The Governor's blessing is the ability to intuit the metaphysical laws that govern the world, enabling incredible feats, but technically, this is not magical.
Geomancy: The Grey Aspect scorns mortal life, and grants ko Ail blessing only to creatures made of stone. The Grey Aspect created the golems from ko Ail very body, creatures of stone imbued with consciousness. Nevertheless, some mortals aspire to receive ko Ail blessing, and a cult of mortals does exist, though it is very weak.
The Cult of Water: The Blue Aspect yields ko Ail knowledge to sprites, though if you can convince one to teach you, you will find it to be surprisingly easy. Where the Cult of Water is strong, the weather is fair and the trade winds reliable.
The Cult of Fire: The Red Aspect does not limit ko sur power to sentient beings, but extends the potential to any living creature. The Blessing of Fire allows the blessed to regenerate their form and even change it at will. Also granted is the ability to perfectly simulate death, like the Phoenix.
The Cult of the Void: Mediums are blessed by Ranatar with the ability to hear the last whispers of the dead as they depart this world. In order to gain this blessing, (though some would call it a curse, for it is not always an asset) one must come close to death, but not cross the threshold.
Mages: The Mages are blessed by the Purple Aspect, and they have abilities of healing and direct magic. A mage can heal the sick and destroy a wall, and you can never be sure which sur favors.
Alchemists: The Green Aspect favors those who deny the world as it is, and ko Ail blessing is the ability to reshape reality as one desires. Many seek this blessing, but (luckily) the Green aspect rarely grants it. Only to those who would be able to cause great change even without ko Ail blessing are eligible. (Alchemy)
Listeners to the Word: Oracles are gifted with knowledge they have no right to have, but which the White Aspect has determined must be disseminated. The White Aspect favors humanity, for it is the race which is most curious about the world about it.
The Sect of the Maker's Shadow: Unique among the cults, the Sect still worships Ailistiff first, but in ko Ail "impure" form, as the Spirit Aspect. Unlike the Formless Maker Ailja, the Maker's Shadow is inclined to grant power. The Maker's Shadow's existence in Corasur is tenuous, and therefore the Spirit Aspect reflects reality rather than imposing Ailja upon it. The blessing of the Spirit Aspect allows one to do the same, perfectly opposing any force that stands in ones way.Top
Other Major Religions
House of Na'Seel: Not technically an entire religion, the
House is the remnants of an ancient and great trade empire. Though the
original House has been bred to extinction, the eminence of the name lives
on and all modern merchants proudly (though perhaps not accurately) trace
their ancestry back to the great family. The House of Na'Seel worships a
very large pantheon of very small gods, mostly sainted ancestors. Each
family has its own collection, and there are few, if any, constants. Worship
consists of leaving small offerings and prayers to a simple shrine, and
very little is required in the way of faith. The Priesthood considers the
House to be harmless and profitable, and allows sailors and merchants to
worship as long as they accept Ailistiff and the Aspects as the primary
divinities in Corasur.
(Na'seel means "without treachery", and is a compliment. (The Old Tongue usually forms good traits by negating negative traits) In fact, it is dubious whether there ever was a family with such a name, for it is considered bad luck to name a child after a trait they may not even possess. However, people never to voice this thought too loudly, because a merchant might take offence to you disrespecting their family, and non-members of the House don't usually care.)
Followers of the Enlightened Prophet: The Followers are an underground cult, following a mysterious figure that claims to have been granted great wisdom by the White Aspect, Rafitar. The Priesthood considers them to be heretical, and spares no expense in hunting them down and forcing repentance. The structure and beliefs of the Followers appear to be very similar to the Priesthood's, but the Priesthood refuses to hear anything about it. They are so decisive about their condemnation, coupled with the fact that they have not given any formal statement of the heresies, that some wonder if the Followers perhaps know a secret the Priesthood wishes to maintain.
Walkers of the Path: The Walkers are heathens, who teach that Ailistiff and the Aspects is a metaphor, and a constricting one at that. They seek personal enlightenment, rather than to lead a virtuous life by the laws of the Priesthood. However, the Priesthood generally leaves them alone as long as they stay isolated in their remote communities, which they are happy to do.
Defilers: Sometimes, an Aspect's blessing (or lack thereof) causes strife, and the fact that the offending party is an immortal being that lives on a scale entirely outside ko sur entire life does absolutely nothing to keep people from holding grudges. Defilers are so named because many of them do, in fact, destroy temples, a crime punishable by death, in some cases.
Unbelievers: Even with the Empire's great reach, there are those who have never learned the theology of the Priesthood. The Priesthood considers this a terrible waste of lives, and sends out missionaries to convert the heathens for their own good.Top
The Empire: (--Have Reviewed--) The primary political structure in the world, The Empire is ancient and expansive enough that the official name is unnecessary and has fallen into disuse. The Priesthood and the Court of Lords refer to it as "Salta Colra ko Fisuria", "Glorious Nation of the Enlightened People" in official discourse. The Empire was formed from the Union of Five in ancient history as a treaty-bound theocratic republic.
The Empire, like all states, carries its history in its government. There are three significant levels to the government, the Pristhood, which is given full jurisdiction (of the entire world, of course) but largely concerns itself with religious matters, the Court of Kings, which represents the remnant of the original secular government of the Union of Five, which has 12 members, and the Court of Lords, which is the representation of the interests of the outlying territiories, which has a varying number of members.
(See next section for the organization of the Pristhood)
The Court of Kings is composed of two representatives from each State in the Union, as well as two from the Pristhood, yeilding a total and fixed value of 12 Kings. They reside in Kormar, and have jurisdiction over all civil matters inside the Nation, and have final say in matters of the Court of Lords' jurisdiction, which they may either declare to be in their interest or they may be appealed by the Lords.
The Court of Lords is composed of the four Sheriffs of Kormar's wards, four representative each from the States, and two representatives from each satrapy. All positions except the Sheriffs may be "collapsed", wherin a governor appoints fewer Lords than their quota and divides the allotted votes as they see fit. At present, there are 32 satrapies, and 72 Lords accounting for 78 votes.
The States have different types of government, but are required by the treaty to always follow the laws mandated by the Pristhood and the Court of Kings. The head of government of a State is generically known as "Emperor", except in (--Name--) which is a democratic republic with no role comparable to "president" or "prime minister" besides the "Speaker".
Satrapies are not considered to be full States, but are also independent of any individual State. Most government in the Satrapies is done by representative vote among the Lords, so in fact, the people of the Satrapies are not significantly farther removed from the seat of government than the people of the States. (After all, the Empire is largely not a democracy.) They are, however, ruled by nobles descended from Unioners, not people of their own lands, which has brought conflict throughout history.
The position of satrap is (in general, though there are 3 elected satraps) hereditary, but not patrilineal. (Edict of the Priesthood, no legal document may differentiate by gender. Caste, however, is allowed.) Ambassadors serve until either death or until they are recalled, and each satrap can appoint two (Or one, with two votes) to serve in the Court of Lords. Satraps are required to maintain standing armies of 108 (9012) men for every 1728 (60012) free citizens, and be able to quadruple that by draft in times of war. In general, they are civil leaders with limited power, most power being held by the Court.
Despite anything dissidents may say, the Empire serves one function for the clear benefit of all humanity: Food distribution. Because the sky rotates about the azimuth over Nacis, (See Calendar and Cosmology) seasons are more like time zones than anything, and if you can afford to import food, you can get anything that can survive the trip any time of year. The Empire subsidizes that for the good of all, and therefore fewer people starve.
The Sacred Priesthood of the Formless Maker: is not just a church, but is actually the real government of the Empire. The Empire does not have a state church, the chuch was formed directly by the treaty to be the state. The Priesthood has uncontested ownership of the city and port of Kormar, as well as the immediately surrounding regions, and owns the entire Union and Empire by proxy.
As the Empire slowly crumbles, the Priesthood does, too, and even now, the Priesthood is finding it harder and harder to control the people. They are a very old and respected institution, with significant political power, and in fact, they have the power to overrule any decision of the secular government.Top
Humanity: The most populous race, humans can be found in (almost) all environments. In the region of the Five Nations, the humans are dark-skinned, but in the satrapies, all tones can be found.
Golems: Also known as "Mountain-Folk", the golems can be found in insular underground colonies wherever there is stone. They have no need for light or air, and digging into their homes is a common source of contention between them and miners. Fortunately, the Golems bear no specific hatred of humanity, and often such encounters end peacefully.
Sprites: Elemental creatures, small in stature but not in power. They are very playful, but distrustful by nature.
Suro'ia: Also known as the beastmen, the Suro'ia have a form that is reminiscent of werewolves, but more bearlike. They generally live in small socialist agrarian settlements, but rather than eating cereal grain, they feed it to their livestock and themselves eat mostly fruit and meat. They, along with their livestock, hibernate from (In most locations) mid-Korilao until Listao. The Suro'ia have their own native language and culture, as well as different names for the Aspects, but the differences are trivial. They have no formal religion, however, and instead they worship privately and only in thanks. It is considered bad form to ask the divine of anything unless you are likely to die without their aid. Entitlement is considered the greatest sin in their society, which is completely egalitarian. Contrary to stereotypes, the Suro'ia keep very good libraries and are generally well educated.Top
Regions and Points of Interest
Corasur: The name of the world. I haven't yet decided what shape Corasur is, but I think I'm leaning toward flat. It's anchored to Nacis, as are all things with physical forms, because forms do not exist in the Expanse.
Nacis: The site of the World Seed, and the center of the universe. Nacis is a great and perfect forest of emerald and glass, and within its borders nothing changes. At the very center is the World Seed itself, a veritable mountain of pure diamond, the static core on which the entire world is anchored.
Kormar: The glorious and ancient
Capitol of The Empire is a thriving port city, just as glorious as when it
was built, or so it seems. The fringe wars are rarely spoken of in polite
company, but after dark, or all day on the docks, rumors are whispered,
and the security of The Empire is in doubt. Many realize that, when The
Empire does fall, it will fall hard, and the more forward-thinking of the
citizenry make plans for emigration.
Politically, Kormar is divided into four wards, the Temple District, and the Central Commons, the seat of government. The first ward most people encounter is the Docks, which actually covers much more than just the docks themselves, but is rather everything outside the walls. Inside the walls are the High Ward, the Middle Ward, and the Low Ward, where the High Ward is closest to the Temple District, containing housing for the government and Priests, the Middle Ward surrounds the Central Commons, mostly the haunt of merchants and doctors, and the Low Ward is the area of the city farthest from the Temple District, containing those members of the lower caste, as well as the barracks.
The Temple District: The Temple District is the glory of the Priesthood, a sprawling complex of muraled walls and red roofs covering over a hundred acres of land in a hexagon on the hill overlooking Kormar. It was built in ancient past, and maintained and improved over centuries. At the center is the Spire, dedicated to Ailistiff, and arranged around it in two offset rings of six are the Aspect Temples. The Temple is surrounded by a wall, though it has never seen a battle and is not as impressive as the wall of the Capitol, though it is far better decorated.
The Fringes: A general name for all of the satrapies farther than a week's travel from Kormar. More broadly, the areas that are politically unstable, because the Empire cannot mobilize fast enough to effectively stifle revolts or because the native people are protesting the rule of foreigners. Several satrapies are in outright war, in fact, and the Empire might lose some of its most economically important territories.
Satrapy of Dai'ala: Three weeks away from the Capitol,
Dai'ala has been unstable for two generations, ever since
the low caste soldiers staged a coup and publicly executed their satrap
for the crimes of theft of land and liberty in K1359.La. (49 cycles
(162 yrs) before standard present period begins.) The Priesthood
conceded to them representative rule, because the satrapy is the largest
source of refined copper.
Dai'ala means approximately "Unending Peace". As it was founded in K1086.Chron, (The farthest region claimed in the second crusade) the name did prove to be fairly accurate.
Calendar and Cosmology
The sky in Corasur would look exceedingly strange to a denizen of Earth.
There is no sun or moon, only the stars. On a cycle of 12 hours (these hours
are actually about three times as long as ours, but Corasur's people tend to
divide everything into 12) they smoothly brighten and darken, forming the
day and the night. The sky, like the world itself, is fixed upon Nacis, and
rotates slowly around it. (You can determine how far you are from Nacis by
accurately measuring the speed of the movement of the stars, in fact.)
Each Aspect has a constellation (Called a "Sign" or
lao), and each
constellation is overhead for 72 days, measured in 6 12-day weeks. The stars
are colored differently depending on the Aspect, and these colors are the
sources of the Common Tongue names, because common people care more about
the practical effects than the scriptural roles. Rather than years, time is
measured in cycles and signs, with dates such as 1206.Sal.3.2 for the
second day of the third week of the sign of
Rasalar in the 1,206th cycle.
An interesting complication is that the current sign is a localized phenomenon. For most purposes, the local calendar is used, but every locale's offset from Kormar is kept track of for long-distance correspondence. Kormar dates are written with a K preceding the cycle, as in K1205.Fi.5.B, which might be the same as the above date (The difference comes out to +597 days). Note that in Corasur, all numbers are base twelve, but for the purposes of this document, cycles are in reported in decimal.
I wrote a JS widget to implement this here, so hopefully that should alleviate your confusion.
A date is formatted as: (K)Cycle.Lao.week.day:hour:twelfth:moment:tick. These terms are defined below.
Cycles: Cycles serve a similar purpose to an Earth year,
but are actually well over three times as long.
(72*12*1.4)/365.25≈3.31) They are numbered
sequentially. Assuming my
math is right (it usually isn't the first time), a human denizen of Corasur
is what we would call an adult (18 years, rounded up) at 5 cycles and 6
18/((72*12*1.4)/365.25)*12≈65.22) In the Empire,
legal adulthood is 6 cycles of age for citizens.
The length of a cycle presents a problem for agrarian societies, namely, the winter is longer than an entire Earth year. Food must be preserved in great quantity, and for much longer than is necessary in Earthly societies. Canning was developed fairly early in the history of humanity.
Signs: Each Aspect has 72 days in the sky, which is almost
perfectly 100 Earth days. (Slightly more.) Each Sign has its own
characteristics, the most striking is that the stars are predominantly
colored in the same way as that Aspect. Each is named in the Old Tongue with
the root of the aspect's name and suffixed with
The twelve signs form a zodiac, and horoscopes and astrology are very common in Corasur. They are also, unlike on Earth, not complete bunk.
- Iron (Listao)
- The stars are dim and rusty grey in color. The sign of Iron marks the end of Dusk, and the beginning of "spring".
- Silver (Salao)
- The stars brighten and twinkle. The temperature begins to climb.
- Gold (Chronlao)
- The stars take on a golden cast, their light invigorating beast and plant alike.
- Red (Kofao)
- The stars burn with fiery intensity, casting enough light even during the night to keep away the chill. During this sign, people in warmer climates often adopt a "nocturnal" lifestyle to minimize heat stroke.
- Blue (Sulao)
- The stars fade significantly, their somber blue light rarely seen through the clouds of the monsoons and thunderstorms.
- Green (Volilao)
- The stars are multicolored, but more spectacularly, aurorae paint the sky both day and night, in breathtaking colors, predominantly greens, though blues, oranges, and even bright pinks are not uncommon. Unlike the other signs, which are generally very consistent, the onset and end of Volilao have been recorded to be as much as a week off from the calandar dates.
- Grey (Jafao)
- The stars once again lose their color, this time marking the end of the warm season. Their feeble light no longer nurtures the crops.
- Glass (Korilao)
- The brilliantly white, though lifelessly chilly stars form constellations of perfect geometric order during the sign of the Governor.
- Purple (Lalao)
- The stars become colored in deep purples, making good color vision difficult even during the day. In even warmer climates, the first frosts generally occur by the beginning of this sign.
- Black (Nalao)
- The depth of winter, not even a tenth of the stars present in the other signs grace the skies with their presence. Very few places remain unfrosted.
- White (Filao)
- The stars once again light the world, revealing that which had been hidden. Though the light is warm, life knows that Ailao is yet to come, and dormancy does not end.
- Spirit (Ailao)
- During this sign, the daily change of the brightness of the stars is mostly muted, and the entire 72 days is spent in twilight. Only those with clocks are ever sure of how far through they are. The temperature is generally comfortable, but food crops do not grow in the absence of the daily cycle of brightness. The duration of this sign is a holiday known as "Dusk", the celebration of the end of the cycle. During this time, gifts of charity are given every Fourth Rest, and the working days are marked by a partial fast.
Weeks: A week is 12 days long, numbered 0-B. There are twelve of them in a lao. The days are named by analogy with the stages of life. First Rest, Babe, Child, Teen (translated, original is "adolescent" but "teen" is one syllable, see Cycles), Young Adult, Second Rest, Third Rest, Adult, Old Adult (a common term used to refer to people roughly 37-50 years (11-15 cycles) old, no English equivalent), Elder, Death, Fourth Rest. It may sound strange to you that people rest 4 days in every 12, but the days are actually about 40% longer in Corasur and even-numbered rest days (second, fourth) are just short work days.
Days: A day is divided into 12 hours (Assuming a day of
24*1.4=33.6 earth hours, each hour is 168 minutes) starting
from dawn, each of which is divided into twelfths. (
14 min) Each of these is divided into 144 moments,
and most clocks tick 12 times in a moment, giving rise to the
smallest unit in common use, the tick
A time is formatted as :6::: for noon, or :5:B:BB:B for one tick before
noon. A full date and time reads "K1205.Fi.5.B:5:B:BB:B" for one tick
before noon on the Babe of the fifth week of Filao in the cycle 1,205,
Kormar time. For a zero time, one may leave the space between the colons
blank. (":8::5" for 5 moments after the 8th hour). A less precise time is
denoted by leaving off colons, as in :3:0 for "within a twelfth of noon".
Brief History of Corasur
For now, this is very Kormar-centric. I'll look this over rather
extensively later as well, this is a first draft while
Current estimation of the time a city first surpassed 5,000 citizens.
The site has been named "Firsthome" in the Common Tongue and is in the
territory of the modern Surihay Satrapy. Older sites exist, but the Empire
has not developed radiocarbon dating and all estimates are very broad.
Note that 1600 cycles is 5300 years.
- Calendar Starts. Estimation as of K800 of the dawn of human civilization. Widely considered considered falsified now, but it's beyond changing. Earlier dates are expressed with a B preceding the date, applied before the K for Kormar.
- First recorded habitation of the area that is now Kormar.
- Founding of the original Kormar, under the name Salmar, "Silver City".
- First clear evidence of the operation of the Priesthood in the area of the Temple District.
- The First Great Fire of Salmar - Salmar is largely rebuilt.
- The Union of Five is formed of five city-states and nations into a loose theocratic republic. Salmar is designated as the seat of the secular government.
- The Second Great Fire of Salmar, the city is replanned, renamed, and rebuilt on the hill under the already-extant Temple District, henceforth to be known as "Kormar", "City of Order", or "The Capitol" in the common tongue.
- K1033.List - K1055.Jaf
- The individual nations in the Union expand semi-independently during this time.
- Taking advantage of the lao of change, the Priesthood declares that the Union of Five is to be the central core of the new Empire, now known as Salta Colra ko Fisuria. The lands claimed since K1030 are reclassified as 4 satrapies, but little power is moved from the nations. In the lands claimed by --name--, a representative government is established, with a satrap elected from the high class.
- The First Crusade is launched by the Empire, first 6 conquered satrapies are formed.
- The Second Crusade is launched by the Empire. Dai'ala is founded in K1086.Chron, along with 7 others.
- Third Crusade launched, founding 6 satrapies. The Empire reorganizes with the inception of the Court of Lords, and political power is finally granted in limited form to the citizenry of the satrapies, of which there are currently 24.
- Fourth Crusade launched Westward, is an utter failure due to an unusually harsh winter that cycle. Only the Satrapy of Corasal is founded; the economy of the Satrapy of Calasuri (A very important cereal grain exporter) collapses due to the cost of the military effort leading to famine in many regions. Nationalism declines significantly and the Empire's military is left mostly unused until the Fifth Crusade.
- *Much political upheaval*
- Fifth Crusade launches, successfully founds five new satrapies in the fringes.
- The Satrapy of --name-- does not deliver the winter tax, and the navy is dispatched. Current satrap is deposed and a new satrap is instated, drawn from the family of a High Seer.
- Sixth Crusade launches Southward, founds three satrapies. There are now 33 satrapies.
- Dai'ala Peasant Revolt - Satrap executed and after military threat fails to quell the populace, the Priesthood cuts their losses and declares that Dai'ala's satrap is to be elected from the people.
- "Sympathetic" revolts in --name-- result in similar provisions from the Priesthood, however, realizing that they are setting unfortunate precedent, all further revolts are met with military action. Within two cycles, order is tentatively restored.
- The "Lost Crusade" is launched to the East, but nearly three quarters of the soldiers die from a mysterious and highly virulent disease. The satraps in that direction are ordered to build a wall and further Eastward expansion is forbidden citing the will of Rakofar.
- Standard Present Period begins. This is the time period depicted by the map.
- Eighth Crusade launches Northward and Westward - No new satrapies, this crusade is only meant to quell attempted revolutions in the fringes. The satrapy of Forlasi is significantly reduced in territory and the satrapy of Forlhay is created from the reclaimed land.
- Standard Present Period ends.
Appendix AA - As-of-yet Unincorporated Notes
(This section will, of course, not exist in the final draft, but until I have written full appendices, it may prove necessary.)
Corasur is not a planet, and does not have a rotating liquid metal core. Therefore, it would not have a magnetic field under our laws. However, (And I won't lie, this is largely for the sake of convenience,) Rakoritar has applied ko Ail power to create a monopolar field, with Nacis serving as magnetic north. In every other significant way, magnetism and compasses work the same in Corasur and in our universe.
Corasur's people rely mostly upon steam power, however, magitech is also very common and some is indispensable to the lives of all but the poorest peasants. Mostly produced by the Iron Cultists, though some is enchanted by Mages, magitech ranges from crystals that glow with the light of the stars overhead (Not useful for streetlights; they usually use gas for that.) to iceboxes that channel the cold of Nalao to bronze horses that need no food except soft stone. Nothing comes free, however. It is beyond the power of even the highest magic to create an engine that needs no fuel or produces no heat, for instance. They often also require rare materials, or even just unusual ones, so the market in Corasur would look mighty foreign to a denizen of Earth. Obsidian formed in Nalao or the flower of the Flameblossom picked in the third week of Kofao, for instance, form the primary exports of some regions.
Anything written like --This-- is a TODO notice for myself, the author, and you should ignore them, unless you have a suggestion.
In Corasur, the climate is most strongly effected by the distance from Nacis. The stars there are the densest anywhere, and the habitable land around Nacis is desert and tropical. The Union is very near to Nacis, with a largely tropical climate, and most people there are dark-skinned. Farther out, the climate becomes temperate, and this band is much larger in area than the tropical region. The majority of this band is claimed by the Empire, and is the site of most food production. Beyond that, it generally tends toward cooler climates as you get farther from Nacis, to the point of permafrost only a few thousands of miles beyond the Southernmost borders of the Empire.
Because of the rotating sky, temparature variations tend to form in bands, and in some bands, the stars are much farther apart or denser or brighter or dimmer than would be expected. Most dramatically, there is a warm band at (--distance--) that hosts some rainforests, despite the fact that the general climate near that range is boreal. These rainforests breed deadly diseases, particularly to the East.Top
Appendix A - Mechanics of Magic
In Corasur, Magic (not to be confused with magick) is the catch-all term for the various powers that the Aspects grant. Each aspect's blessing is very different from the others, however there are some similarities having to do with the basic structure of a blessing. The art of blessings was introduced to all the aspects by Ralatar, but each Aspect perfected the art independently. This section is horribly redundant and unpolished and will be until I have figured out all the basics.
The Aspects' blessings can be roughly divided into these categories:
- Purple, Green (Potence).
Magick uses raw power to alter the very Forms that make up reality. Mages have the power to create new Forms, while Alchemists reshape existing ones. This is extremely exhausting, for it uses the direct strength of the mind, (represented as mana) however the results can be spectacular.
Note that Blue is also Magick, but it is not related to Potence.
- Gold (Farsight), Glass (Intuition), Void, White (Oraculism).
Many of the blessings of the Aspects do little more than grant knowledge, though knowledge must not be underestimated. Seers can see what is not near them, in space or in time. Glass Intuition enables one to come to conclusions that are beyond the scope of the mundane. Mediums and Oracles suffer almost from a curse, rather than a blessing, for they cannot refuse their revelations. Mediums hear the dead always, for it is a sacred law that last words must be heard. Oracles are, in Rafitar's view, little more than the loudspeakers through which ko Ail information reaches mortal (or immortal) ears. Ail does not respond to prayer, and Oracles cannot ignore ko Ail wisdom. (--Rework Glass and Gold--)
Because of the similar metaphysical mechanisms of all of the blessings in this category, only one may be above level 3.
- Cants and Blessings
- Silver (--Name--), Red (Animism), Spirit (Shadowtouch).
Cants and Blessings are temporary effects, which fade away after a relatively short time with no significant aftereffect. Silver cants deny the reality of danger, at least for oneself, allowing warriors to walk away from terrible battles unharmed or miners to climb out from cave-ins. They are limited in that they must be cast in advance, and last only a short time, therefore, only anticipated dangers may be averted. Blessings of Fire allow beings to control their health to otherwise inpossible degrees. They can simulate death perfectly or heal great wounds in mere hours, but their power relies upon ambient life energy. Cants of Spirit have such effects as creating illusions and countering blows and even spells, however, they cannot create, only duplicate.
- Effects and Enchantments
- Iron (Enchanting), Blue (Rituals).
Enchanters can imbue mundane objects with mystical properties, but require strange reagents and, most of all, time. If you want a flaming sword, you can expect a wait of at least a lao, and to foot the cost of a shipment of flameblossoms, which only bloom for a two-week period in Kofao. The blessing of Water allows for much less time-intensive enchanting, and also much more broad of effect. The Blessing of Water is apt for lont-term area effects, such as weather control. Many temples have ancient blessings on them that have been maintained for hundreds of cycles.
- Grey (Geomancy).
The essential power of Geomancy is animation, of the self and of objects. Only three Aspects have used their power to create souls in any significant fashion, Rakofar, Rasutar, and Rajafar, and only the latter grants it to non-divine beings. Other powers granted are the ability to shape stone and other materials of the earth, and the ability to temporarily petrify living beings.
Some of the aspects' blessings are incompatible with others, because of the specific natures of the blessings. The specific compatibilities are outlined below. If a blessing is given a number in parentheses, that is the extent of its power without incurring additional incompatibilities. Blocks may have two associated levels, the level at which a block occurs, and the level that limits the limited blessing to.
These have been granted to all sentient creatures, all life, or even are
basic rules of the world. Anything listed here at 0 is completely free
and automatic, except that a character may only have either White or
Black, even if they are at level 0. Default is White.
- White (0)
- The White aspect grants Ail visions to those who make the best use
of them, though Ail favors ko Ail oracles. (Oraculism 0 allows up to 1
intelligence roll at (--penalty--) per game session, at GM approval,
and the GM may grant visions unrequested as appropriate. This should be
- Black (0)
- When a soul passes the threshold, ko sur last words must be heard.
Mediums are "qualified" to hear these messages, but in their absence,
a final message may be heard by anybody.
- Red (1)
- Granted in varying degrees to all living creatures. Level 1
allows the use of will to heal minor wounds. Automatically level 1 for
any living creature.
Blocks: Grey, (1+) Purple, (1+) Green.
- Granted to all animate beings not of flesh at level 1
automatically. Level 1 mimics the effect of Red, but after that, the
effects diverge, allowing Animation at 5.
- Silver (0)
- Some cants may be learned by anyone, with practise.
These blessings are not freely-granted, however they do not interfere with
the blessings of any other aspect.
- Only those who have been specifically blessed may use the Shadow's power, but no Aspect may question the Shadow's judgement.
- Greater spells require the specific blessing of Rasalar.
- This is the only Blessing that confers little direct power, and works best in conjunction with another. Instead, the Blessing of the Worldforge allows one to weave almost any other form of magic into an object.
These blessings interact with other blessings, creating certain
- The blessing of the Aspect of Power allows the blessed to be the
master of the very world itself. However, the ability to channel such
power (termed Potence) completely blocks one from many other magics.
Blocks: Green, Red (2), Blue (2).
- The Aspect of change grants the power to warp Forms to the
blessed's desires, enabling acts of great power. However, the ability
to channel such power (termed Potence) completely blocks one from many
Blocks: Purple, Red (2), Blue (2).
- The Blessing of Water is transferable, but the Cult of Rasutar
guards it closely. It is relatively compatible in general, but Potence
Blocks: (2+) Green, (2+) Purple.
- Some beings veritably burn with the fire of Rakofar,
Blocks: Grey, (2+) Purple, (2+) Green.
- Having the favor of the White aspect may not always seem to be a
blessing. When Rafitar decides that something must be known, ko Ail
oracles will hear it whether they want it or not. However, these
messages are always useful, even if not immediately.
Blocks: Black, (3+) Gold (2), (3+) Glass (2).
- Blessed with the privilege of hearing the last words of the newly
dead, Mediums are very important to the religions of the world.
However, they have as little choice in the matter as Oracles (and no
guarantee of utility), and gaining the blessing of Ranatar is
rarely voluntary and always painful.
Blocks: White, (3+) Gold (2), (3+) Glass (2).
- Blessed with Farsight, Seers can see into the future, the past, and
the present. However, as Sight becomes easier, they may find it
difficult to tell exactly what they're seeing now.
Blocks: (3+) Glass (2), (3+) Black (2), (3+) White (2).
- The power of Intuition is no small thing. On Corasur, that
it rained for two twelfths exactly, then a crack of thunder was heard
from the East, on an afternoon in the second week of Sulao may provide
enough information for a Blessed of Glass to know exactly who their
friends are in a foreign land. Don't ask how, however, because the
curse of Intuition is that no knowledge gained such may be explained.
Blocks: (3+) Gold (2), (3+) Black (2), (3+) White (2).
Each Blessing comes with a Curse. At lower power, only the Blessing is apparent, but the seeds of the Curse are planted irrevocably. As the Blessing becomes more powerful, the Curse grows too, often consuming the Blessed entirely.
Potence: The Potence stat reflects that reality is
secondary to your will. The Potence stat provides a certain amount of
mana, which may be spent to perform magick. Mana regenerates slowly by
itself, however, it can be storeed and actively transferred. Potence
provides 10 mana at level 1 and increases by 15 every level thereafter.
Anything using more than 20 mana is "unstable" and may cause dangerous
effects. Potence uses a combination of fast casting and rituals, depending
mostly on the amount of mana used.
The Curse of Potence is Hubris. As ones power grows, one forgets that they do not have the right to shape the world as one sees fit. This often leads to experienced Mages and Alchemists attempting Forbidden things, usually killing themselves in the process.
Rituals: Rasutar grants only one Blessing: the ability to
see the currents and eddies in all things, be they the sea, the sky, or
the arcane. Passively, anyone with the Blue Blessing gains an intuitive
understanding of weather and the sea, which means that they automatically
know the weather conditions accurately for the next 2 days. They are also
innately expert swimmers, much better with only minimal training than an
expert swimmer. Blue magick is usually nearly self-sustaining.
It, like Purple and Green magick, operates on mana, but only ambient mana,
which makes it easier, but more situational. Having mana inside oneself
(Potence) interrupts the flow of mana
around oneself, making the intricacies of rituals impossible. A ritual may
be able to feed on a sustained current of ambient mana for many cycles
without intervention, but such autonomous constructs are fragile.
Therefore, anyone intending for a duration of more than a cycle will
maintain their ritual periodically.
There is no Curse of Ritualism, except that the maximum power is much less than for many other Blessings.
Oraculism: To be an Oracle or a Medium is not necessarily
always a good thing. Neither Rakoritar nor the dead frequently respond to
prayer, instead they sound their voices on their own terms and the Blessed
have no choice but to listen. By default, every character starts with White
Oraculism, which represents the basic ability to hear the voice of
Rakoritar. Nearing the threshold of death, however, taints that ability.
Metaphysically, one may never walk backwards from the threshold, where
the voice of Rakoritar is faint, and the voices of the dead drown it
The Curse of Oraculism is Compulsion. Each message comes with a Command, which the Oracle is obliged to follow. Resisting a Compulsion is possible, but requires a significant exercise of willpower, and in the case of a Black Command, it must be passed on to another.
Farsight: Farsight is the ability to see that which is
not nearby. The easiest method of Farsight is using Portals, such as
mirrors or reflecting pools, but it can also be done without. At lower
levels, Farsight allows one to See out of any Portal they have previously
seen in person, which has not been moved since. Higher levels allow much
The Curse of Farsight is Blindness. As one Sees more, they see less. They lose the ability to place themselves firmly into the present, and therefore become blind to it.
Intuition: There is only one power granted by the
Governor, and that is the ability to understand ko Ail rules. They are
exceedingly complex, but the Blessing of Intuition attunes you to them.
The Curse of Intuition is --WIP--
Cants: A cant is a small spell with a certain set of
prerequisites. Certain basic Silver cants do not require the Blessing at
any level, but most do. Silver cants generally operate by changing what is
"real" and what is "illusory", most often being "I deny the existence of
a threat". A few are creative, bringing simple desires out of the
mind and into the world, such as the fire-starting cant, which is a
statement of "I want heat to exist, so it does." Cants of Spirit are
similar, but not the same, rather than being based on existence, are based
on perception. They can be used to call a memory from someone's head into
the world or to move a sight from one place to another. There are no free
Spirit cants, all require at least Shadowtouch 1. To use a cant, one must
simply express their will to that effect out loud, such that it may be
clearly heard at the range it is intended to effect, and take a moment to
concentrate on it. There is no mana involved, however, a roll must be made
each time to prevent will point loss.
The Curse of Silver is Ego. Those with the ability to deny reality often forget that world does not exist for their benefit.
The Curse of Spirit is --WIP--
Blessings: Red magic is similar to cants, but it is
focused internally rather than externally, and relies on passions and the
drive to live, rather than the strength of will.
The Curse of Fire is Hunger.
Significant Magical Reagents and Materials
Gold: Gold is the material of light and heat. It can hold a large amount of magical energy while remaining stable, matched by no other metal. While still rare, gold is considerably more plentiful in Corasur than on Earth, being roughly as common as silver.
Copper: As a relatively plentiful soft metal, copper is frequently used in place of gold. They are very similar, physically as well as magically, and therefore good copper can substitute for people who need function but cannot afford luxury.
Flameblossom: This bright orange or yellow flower is commonly used as incense, though it is poisonous raw, causing terrible fevers. Magically, flameblossom can serve as a useful channel for flame magic.
Amber: Amber is, quite literally, a material of death. The most accurate translation of "sap" into the Common Tongue is "tree-blood", so amber is considered transparently to be the essence of the death of trees, even when not filled with dead insects. As a reagent, amber may be used either to preserve objects or to steal and contain life essence.Top
Appendix B - Standard Settings
The standard time period for new stories is between K1408 and K1425. A span of 18 cycles (start of '08 to end of '25) is almost 60 Earth years, enough that few adults will survive from the beginning to the end of the period. This is called the Standard Present Period in this manual. Storytellers are, of course, encouraged to set stories outside of this time, but that leaves much more work up to the individual.
This manual provides detailed information of the geography and political
climates in three areas, which are the Standard Locales,
but storytellers are encouraged to fill in their own in diverse settings.
The Standard Locales are: Kormar (and immediate environs), The Satrapy of Dai'ala (Offset +203 days), and --WIP--.
Major Events of Note During the Standard Present Period:
- K1408.Chron: A revolt in the Satrapy of Corasal interrupts the supply of silvergrass for a large area of the fringes, including Dai'ala. Silvergrass is a major medicinal ingredient (Specifically a clotting agent used in poultices) and its seeds are a staple spice in the Union, with a flavor most easily summarized as sour mint.
Appendix C - Glossary
(It is advised that you read Language (Basics) before this, as it will give you a couple practical details that are not repeated here.)
This is a list of terms used in the Old Tongue with translations into English. The Common Tongue is understood to be the lingua franca of this world, and is universally translated into English, though the reader should note that the Common Tongue is actually a creole of Old Tongue and various assimilated languages, and nothing like English.
In this document, Old Tongue words are rendered in this alternate font where there is a translation, or when the non-English nature of the word(s) is being specifically evoked, and not for cases when a translation would not be suitable. Proper names are the primary example of the latter, and also the various uses of Corasurian pronouns.
In general, nouns are made plural by appending "a". Unlike in English, this is only done for uncounted (group) nouns, so you would say "People live in the town.", but "There is 5 person living in this house."
"Land of", used as a prefix. (Corasur:
"Land of" + "Life", Corasal:
"Land of" + "Silver")
Modified to colra to mean "nation", "satrapy" or more generally, "territory with designated borders".
Formed from the uncount noun cor, ("land") but is now enough more significant that it is placed first in this glossary.
- "Aspect", is a circumfix, which is similar to a prefix or suffix, but is applied to both ends of the word at once. To use it, you take a root word, like jaf, ("stone") and you place it in the middle, giving "ra-jaf-(t)ar". Since "jaf" ends in a consonant, you leave off the T, and you get the final form Rajafar, "Aspect of Stone". Most worlds in the Old Tongue start with a consonant, but when they do not, an apostrophe is inserted representing the compound. This is usually, but not always, a glottal stop. ("Glottal stop" sounds scary, but in reality, it's just the name for the separation of two "breathy" sounds, like in "n'uh-uh". (Yes it is a word!))
- "Property-of", used to mark possession. Most common in phrases of the form <noun> ko <owner>.
- "Unending" or "eternal".
- "Sign". Plural: lao'a.
"Life" and "fire", Old Tongue does not clearly demarcate the two concepts.
Also used as a pronoun for living beings.
Related words include: suri, "person"; suro, "animal"; and suray, "plant".
Demonyms are commonly formed by <description> + suria.
"Human" specifically is suraf.
- "Animal-people". Formed by suro ("animal") + suri ("person") with the duplicate part elided. Plural: Suro'ia.
- "Law". Kori is a derived term, and means "lawgiver" or "governor".
- Translated in this document as "satrap", literally "lawmaking person".
- "Satrapy", literaly "land of law".
- "City". Often a suffix.
Counting: Corasur's people use a base-12 positional counting system, also known as dozenal. In this document, I have transcribed the numerals as 0123456789AB. I got tired of the bijective system, it doesn't do much for the setting and it makes it harder to deal with numbers. The thing with times where you leave out 0's will be left in, because it's fairly convenient, but it's optional.Top